50's Fashion and Beauty

Fifties Fashion Fix: Plaid!

Hi there, retro fashion lovers! I’m Retro Dee and welcome to a new segment of Fifties Fashion Fix where I’ll be featuring some of the most classic patterns in Fashion History.

In this post I’ll be talking about one of the most popular patterns of the 1950’s decade: Plaid!

One of the best things about Fall and Winter are those classic plaid patterns that never seem to go completely out of style. But did you know that in the 1950’s, plaid was not only fashionable in the Fall, but all year ‘round?

Plaid could be found on on everything from shirts, skirts and dresses, to coats, pants, shorts, swimwear and much more. It was found on casual sportswear for both men and women. Truth to tell, plaid with the wrong color-combo can be somewhat of an eyesore; but overall, when it comes to plaid and colors, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!


1954 ad for Pendleton Sportswear featuring various plaid garments. Image source: Pinterest


My fashion preference has gone in and out of liking plaid, but since I began my quest for all things retro 1950’s, my fondness for plaid has grown into a permanent, full-on love.
Still, not everything plaid is appealing to me (I just won’t wear plaid pants!) But above all, I consider it to be a great classic addition to any gal’s wardrobe, particularly if it’s a largely vintage one.

I’ll be showing you a few plaid items that I have in my wardrobe: two dresses and two skirts, one each that is vintage, and one each that are reproductions.

The first piece from my wardrobe I’d like to share is this amazing swing dress by the popular retro reproduction label, Stop Staring! I absolutely love the cut of this dress, so classic 1950’s… And the sweep of the full skirt makes it fun to wear. There’s some gold threading throughout, adding just a touch of sparkle.


Dress by Stop Staring! Clothing


Next is a true vintage dress, circa late 50’s I believe. There’s no label and it’s most likely home made. It came with a jacket, but I don’t like how it looks with the dress, so I just wear the dress alone. This was purchased from Fox & Fable Vintage.

I love the purple hue of this dress, and the fact that it’s a pencil dress, but doesn’t “cling” to me. (true vintage pencil dresses and skirts did not cling!) It’s cute and classy and the fabric is lightweight enough for warmer fall days.


No label light weight vintage dress was possibly home made.


The first skirt is probably one of my very favorites, a blue, red and white tartan plaid swing skirt by the retro clothing company fave, Hell Bunny. It’s great for dancing or just hanging around listening to records, pretending you’re back in The Best Era Ever.


Skirt by Hell Bunny, shoes by Funtasmic. CD insert photo from “All The Best – Eddie Cochran” by EMI Records.


The other skirt I want to feature is a beautiful true vintage wool skirt. It doesn’t have a maker’s label, but the ILGWU tag that indicates that it was made between 1955 and 1963:

Union label inside my wool skirt.


This skirt is beautiful, made from quality vintage wool. I love the orange-toned red, gray and cream colors together. It’s perfect to pair with any one of my cream sweaters. This skirt was purchased from American Vintage Classics.


Vintage wool plaid skirt has the ILGWU label.


There’s really no limit to what you can do with plaids in your vintage wardrobe. Whether you mix or match, or wear a festive plaid-printed dress, plaid is a vintage wardrobe staple and has secured it’s place in Fashion History of the Fabulous Fifties.


This sketch from a vintage sewing pattern shows plaid featured on a typical vintage 50’s fit n flare dress.


Thank you for reading my post on plaid. Stay tuned for future editions of Fifties Fashion Fix featuring classics such as polka dots, stripes and more!

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @RealRetroDee and Instagram @mariepascal82

— Retro Dee

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